While APHA is world-renowned as the voice of public health, the Association owes its strength to the thousands of members who volunteer their time to the organization.

From reviewing Annual Meeting abstracts and serving as campus liaisons to writing policy statements and chairing committees, volunteers play an essential role, according to APHA past President Kaye Bender, PhD, MPH. International Volunteer Day, Quote "You are the glue that binds us all"

“APHA has such a long, rich history of volunteers supporting public health, working together for policy to make the world a different place…for people to have equitable opportunities to live healthy lives,” Bender said in a recent video message. “Thank you for your work.”

In recognition of International Volunteer Day, an annual observance organized by the United Nations, APHA asked some of its volunteers to share why they devote themselves to the organization and talk about the work they do. Members cited their passion for making a difference, helping others and the ability to work with like-minded advocates to improve health.

Volunteer Kathryn Marwitz, PharmD, MPH, a member of APHA’s Epidemiology and Pharmacy Sections, said she gives her time to the Association so she can share her knowledge and advocate for public health.

“I know APHA is at its strongest when it has the voice of its membership speaking up,” Marwitz said. “Being an active member of APHA has allowed me to network and work collaboratively with members across Sections and Caucuses, demonstrating the true power of collaborative public health.

Kim Townsend, MHA, a member of the Mental Health Section, said she was inspired by the spirit of her “extraordinary” APHA colleagues.

“Their passion, dedication, courage and commitment to creating the healthiest nation are ever-empowering,” Townsend said. “And yet, it is their endless compassion, understanding, kindness and empathy toward each other that leaves me in awe.”

Read testimonials from more than a dozen of APHA’s volunteers and share your own.